Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Window Farm Part 2: Installation

Ok, I'm going to try and make this as uncomplicated as I possibly can. Ready, go! 

These are the tools you will need to hang your window farm. Plus some rope/string. I used some cotton rope from home depot. Shown is a ceiling hook and drill with a large drill bit. You may also need a butter knife.... we'll get to that in a second.


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First, put your ceiling hook together. Next (the hard part) is to make a hole big enough for this metal folding thing to fit through. I used the largest drill bit I had to get it started and then had to use a butter knife to make it bigger. 
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And screw it in. 
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Then make four equally spaced holes at the top water bottle (the one with the bottom cut off). Cut two pieces of string at equal lengths and attach like in the picture. Basically two holes across from each other get one string and you string them through the holes and make a knot so it doesn't come out. Annnd hang it up! 
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Ta-da! All hung! I actually ended up adding another bottle to the bottom on so I could make the "water reservoir" another planter. 

And because I didn't show this in the last post, this is what the very bottom bottle looks like with a little hole in the side so I could screw the cap on. This one will be the water reservoir. 
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So the next step is installing the air pump! This part is super easy. All you need is tubing, a cheap-o air pump, a t-valve, and a check valve. 
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This is something I changed recently. Minor little detail and doesn't take much time but on the water reservoir, I took the cap, drilled a little hole and glued about a 10" piece of tubing in with epoxy to seal it up. This way I can start it up and it'll pump water without having to siphon it. Before, I just had the tubing going up and through the little hole to get the cap through. But with it so far up, I had to take it out and siphon the water down before it would pump back up. Ya. 
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Anyways. So once that's all dried, screw in the cap to the bottom of the reservoir and now you have your first piece of tubing sticking out the bottom! 

Next, you're going to attach a piece of tubing that runs from the top (a little inside the top bottle, I secured it with duct tape) all the way down to just before the cap of the water reservoir. This makes sure that there's a little loop-dy loop at the bottom that helps with pumping. 
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Then, you're going to hook both of those up to the t-valve. They will go on the two ends across from each other, not the one sticking out by itself. 
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And the last part, which is kind of difficult to see, you will attach a tubing to the lonely sticking out part of the t-valve and connect that to the pump. And it's a good idea to cut it somewhere in that piece of tubing and stick in a check valve so water doesn't end up in the pump, especially if your pump is below the water reservoir like mine! 
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And one more thing, I added a "silencer" at the top.... I'm not really sure if it helps but I like to think it does. I just got a medicine bottle, drilled a hole big enough for the tubing to fit in at the top and a bunch of little holes at the bottom. 
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Then I jammed the tubing at the very top ^^ into the medicine bottle and stuck it back in like you see below. 
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And here are my thriving little planties! 
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The reservoir is a bit dirty.... I plan on somehow blocking out the light so that algae doesn't grow but haven't gotten around to it. 

Also, I apologize about the horrendous lighting, I had to take most of them at night! 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away! It can seem a little complicated but once you get the hang of it, it's sooo easy! I'll be back later with the planting details. 
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